Year 1 Blog
Welcome to the blog for our Year 1 classes. The year group blogs are a great communication tool. Teachers will be posting news, photographs, details of homework, examples of work, and anything they wish to share with their pupils and parents. Please speak to your class teacher if you have any question, feedback or concerns.
Green Class Teacher
Mrs De Vynck
Purple Class Teacher
Well done to Green Class for singing and doing actions, at the same time, in the Christmas play. The children practised their floppy, puppet-like movements lots in the run-up to the play and we watched Dick van Dyck being a puppet in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” for inspiration. They also learnt the words to the songs very well and sang very well.
This week we have started to use “Cuisinere”, a set of Mathematical manipulatives for understanding Number and calculation. Using concrete, pictorial resources like this is a key feature of the Maths curriculum. The children loved using it today, to find out doubles of numbers. They all said how seeing the quantities helped them understand that a double is two of something, or two equal amounts added together.
The children have also written their own versions of the Christmas Story, which we will put together into books.
Thank you for returning library books.
We are very keen to hear about your child’s achievements outside of school.
If your child is a member of a club and they are awarded a medal/certificate/badge etc, then we would love to hear about it.
You can help us by;
- photocopying the certificate for our display in the Dining Room
- Bring in a photo of your child competing or holding their badge/certificate/medal/trophy.
Please ask your child to hand it in to their class teacher.
We will be displaying them all year, so don’t worry about finding something straight away.
It was a very different day in Green Class on Friday. We had year 5 visitors from the Junior School. The learning ambassadors came over to share their recent RE learning with the children at the infant school. They talked about what makes people happy and the children had a lovely time completing tasks they set them. It’s always lovely seeing ex-infant school children and seeing what a big difference just a few years makes!
And then the children had a half-hour dance workshop with Living the Dream, which was great fun. All the children joined in confidently, showing very good co-ordination. They particularly liked showing attitude!
The children also wrote descriptions of the favourite toys and showed what good year 1 learners they are, by all writing independently, purposefully and with enthusiasm.
Please could you make sure that your child’s library book is in the book bag on Wednesday, as all the books will come in for the Christmas holiday. Thank you
The last few weeks have contained a lot of active learning. In Maths, we have been learning all about money including the value of each coin. The children have really loved using money in a real life setting and are now successfully recognising coins up to 10. We have used a range of challenges for the children to choose which have been very successful as the children gain confidence in choosing the right one for them independently.
We have been learning about Plants over the last couple of weeks and have been labelling and thinking scientifically about questions such as-
Why do plants need a stem?
Which way round will a bulb sit in the earth? Why?
Do trees have a stem?
Questions like these have allowed the children to think with more breadth about their learning and I have been very impressed by some of their answers!
We have been working hard on our Christmas dance but I can’t give too much away-needless to say Purple Class are working extremely hard and using PE skills such as good body tension. Advent has also captured the children’s imagination and they have loved learning about the four candles of the advent wreath and their significance-Love, Hope, Joy and Peace. William S told me that joy means ‘when I’m really, really, really happy’ and Ismael shared that ‘Love is what I love about my family.’
It has been a fantastic few weeks in Purple Class’s learning and we are looking forward to seeing all our parents and carers at the Christmas Play!
The Christmas tree lights were turned out this afternoon. Three of Green Class’s decorations are on the tree and look beautiful. The rest will be displayed in the classroom before being sent home at the end of term. The children practised joining skills using singe-hole punches and split pins to make them. They then made them their own by decorating them with some sparkly decorations. (Some children will make their decorations tomorrow.)
This afternoon saw practical Geography activity in creating a 3D map based on the story “The Bear and The Scary Night”. The children used the construction kits imaginatively and worked very well in groups of 4.
In Maths this week, so far, the children have been learning to make certain totals in different ways, using coins, which comes under the category of one-step, real-life problem-solving and measuring. Some children are getting successful at finding all the possibilities – it was making 6p today. During the plenary some children started suggesting ways of using a system, involving changing one thing at a time, to systematically find all the possibilities. This is ongoing learning throughout Key Stage 1; and which will be approached in different ways and in different contexts throughout Year 1.
Thank you very much for the play costumes you have sent in. They all look lovely and the children will look wonderful in them.
This morning the children designed and made their own sandwiches. This comes under the banner of Design and Technology, which may be a bit surprising… Under the 2014 (new) curriculum D&T involves using materials and tools to design something. To be considered D&T rather than Art, it’s commonly accepted that the finished piece has a purpose, not simply to be beautiful (or interesting, etc). And that is what the children did with their sandwiches. On Thursday the most commonly mentioned fillings were cheese, jam and cucumber. I provided white and brown bread and the children chose their own fillings. We did agree that the finished product should be neat and straight, so I suggested that this meant just one filling should be used. But I think some jam and cucumber, or other combinations found their way in-between the two pieces of bread. But that didn’t affect the overall look. The children were all thoroughly engaged and managed the materials and tools so well that, with the exception of one small piece of cheese which managed to stick to someone’s shoe, the floor was spotless. I was very impressed by Green Class’s responsible, safe approach to the session. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but of the 27 sandwiches, each was different. The children had a – very simple – picnic with their bears and they used the woven mats they had made as another D&T project with Mrs Reed on Wednesday. After play, they wrote instructions explaining how to make sandwiches. The layout of instructions can be tricky and we will write different instructions next term to practise and improve this technique. I was also impressed by the number of occasions children used the time words they had first learnt about when writing recounts before half-term.
In Maths we are continuing to learn about money, making different totals using coins of different values. The children are improving at remembering which amounts they can add with coins, eg that there is no 3p and 4p.
Play Costumes – I’m sorry if the note home has caused concern. The outfit doesn’t need to be all checked/spotty, plain shorts are fine. The overall aim is to look quite like a puppet on a string. The exact pattern or colours of the outfit don’t matter. Please ask if you have any queries.
Our School Councillors have spent some of their lunchtime sorting the lost property box.
It’s overflowing with lovely body warmers, trainers, school jumpers and cardigans.
A message from our councillors – “please name your clothing and if you buy second hand clothing, remember to cross the old name out and put your child’s name in, thank you.”
The children have started the week by thinking about how light makes them feel, as part of our learning about festivals of light from different religions. They reflected well and came up with some original, perceptive comments, such as ” It makes me feel safe..” and “relaxed because I am still”, as well as the more practical “It makes me feel hot.” This morning the children “bought” toys for amounts up to 10p. We were talking about how the number of coins is not the same as the value of the coins. For example, 2 coins is not automatically worth 2 pence. This is a tricky concept to grasp and we’ll do lots more practical work with coins to work towards everyone mastering it. My guided reading group read a title from the school’s brand-new collection of guided reading books, which are a big improvement on the previous ones in terms of opportunity to discuss phonics and subject matter. The books were purchased by the PTA so a big thank you from me for all the contributions you have made. They have all added up to something very worthwhile and enjoyable to help the children’s learning. A note went home about the children’s play costume today. Please come to me with queries. I’m attaching some photos from Friday’s parents’ day.
Thursday was a very exciting day in Green Class, with lots of teddies joining us. Thank you to the parents who were able to take the time to come in and see what typically happens in Year 1. We have some detailed descriptions of teddy bears to show for our day; and also some improved mental calculation skills. We played some dice games, which are excellent for learning and practising quickfire mental skills. Using the spotty dice helps retain the important element of magnitude in Number. Numerals are symbols and obviously are essential for recording. But real conceptual Mathematical understanding comes from seeing visual representations of Number. It comes from regular practical experience where the constant practice leads to retention of facts. Activities like this – using dice for practical/mental calculation – is what is being called “intelligent rehearsal”. Children will acquire numerical fluency in ways like this, rather than rote learning which is a memory activity and does not aid understanding.
On Thursday we also made a “3D timeline” of the bears which were brought in. We had some fine examples of bears more than 60 years old which had the traditional shape of a long snout and limbs, with golden fur. We ordered the bears according to whether they were from the present day, parents’ time or grandparents’ time. I will post a photo of our bear friends tomorrow.
On Friday we ended up learning about quite a lot of Science. In the morning the children described – with fantastic detail, showing very good observational skills – a bulb. We are going to watch what happens to some bulbs when they are in water, to see how they change. Last week the children labelled a tree or flower (as examples) of plants with the names of their parts. I realised that they children needed to be clear about which plants started from bulbs and which didn’t, so we will observe these bulbs to find out. I’ll post a photo next week. The children did an observational drawing of the bulb and recorded what they think will happen next.
In the afternoon the children sorted animals, in groups of four. They chose their own ways of sorting – after a discussion of “Which is the odd one out”. One of the slides is below – how many different ways of naming an odd one out can you find? The ways of sorting led to some interesting discussions. If you have chosen to sort by “stripes and not stripes” should you also have “grey” as a category? Several groups chose “number of legs” to sort by. One group chose “antennae” and “not antennae”. (I’ll need to check those animals next week – one of them in the photo may be a spider?)
On Monday a letter about costumes for the play will be sent home.